Jul 20

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #92; Finally, a team with even more troubles.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

According to reports, GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel will get a pass on the season, presumably because of the number and severity of the Mets’ injuries.

That’s now, and things could change if they lose 20 in a row or some other unfathomable number.

Of course, the last time such a conversation circulated about the Mets Willie Randolph was fired, so, who really knows?

The offensively challenged Mets have lost 14 of their last 20 games, and nine times in that span they’ve scored no more than one run.

They are in Washington tonight against the Nationals, who have lost 10 of their last 11. If the Mets are to get on a little run, it has to start tonight. Nine games behind the Phillies, and 10 in the loss column, the Mets have nowhere to go but up.

Technically, that’s not true, but you get the idea.

“Where do we go from here?’’ Manuel said. “We have to sit down and make some decisions. We talked about that today. We feel like we still can get some things done.’’

What those things are, he wouldn’t say, but they’ll have to be accomplished without Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes, both whom remain without a return timetable.

The Mets will go tonight with Livan Hernandez, who is 2-0 with a microscopic 0.56 ERA this year against the Nationals. However, once 5-1, Hernandez has lost his last four starts and is winless since June 7.

He has given up 15 runs on 21 hits with eight walks in his last two games, totaling just seven innings.

The Mets will be without Gary Sheffield again tonight, and will go with this line-up:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Jeremy Reed, LF
Alex Cora, SS
Brian Schneider, C
Livan Hernandez, RP

Jul 18

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #90; sinking fast.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

I would rather not use the word “freefall” but the options are getting fewer. Realistically, I don’t see much cause for optimism. This is a team with too few healthy parts, and those that are, aren’t playing well. Can they turn it around? Yeah, it’s possible, but do you see any signs of life indicating they will?

I don’t.

I also don’t see any help on the horizon. Matt Holliday isn’t coming. Neither is Roy Halladay. Neither is Adam Dunn. Neither is anybody else of substance. The Mets simply don’t have the chips – without scuttling their farm system – to make a significant deal.

They will wait for Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran to get better and consider them as “the best trade we could make.” What nonsense. They weren’t playing well when those guys were healthy. As far as Carlos Delgado is concerned, frankly, I see him wanting to come back for only one reason, and that is to prove he’s healthy enough to sign with another team this winter.

They will add Julio Lugo to rest Alex Cora, but let’s face it, who really cares? The best thing about Lugo is it might force the Mets to release Tim Redding.

Johan Santana goes today in an effort to stop the slide. I can’t begin to count the times I’ve written that sentence this season. Trouble is, Santana has been less than an All-Star since he was roughed up in San Francisco. The home runs keep coming off him.

There were no signs of life in last night’s debacle. One has to wonder if internally the Mets aren’t thinking among themselves that it is over.

Jul 16

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #88; second half begins.

METS CHAT ROOM

METS CHAT ROOM

One of the major storylines last offseason was the Mets’ decision to give Oliver Perez three years instead of four years for Derek Lowe.

The pitchers face each other tonight in Atlanta as the second half of the season begins. My confidence level in Perez is about zero. There’s just something about him that screams bust.

PEREZ: Who knows what to expect?

PEREZ: Who knows what to expect?


The Mets are within striking distance in the NL East. Teams have come back from a lot greater holes in far less time. The Mets know that from blowing a seven-game lead with 17 to play in 2007. It has been done, but rarely by a team with as many glaring deficiencies as these Mets.

1. Perez is only one of three major concerns in the rotation. There’s John Maine’s shoulder, which nobody really knows will be ready. Plus, Livan Hernandez has been hit hard lately, so the bloom is off his fast start.

2. Don’t expect Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran back before the end of the month. Carlos Delgado will be back sometime in August, but by that time the competitive part of the season might be ove.

3. The bullpen started off so well, but has been worn down by the workload. Sean Green and Bobby Parnell have run hot-and-cold. Pedro Feliciano is being run into the ground and JJ Putz is on the DL. The way things are going, Billy Wagner, if he returns, won’t be a luxury but a necessity.

4. There’s been little consistent power production. It’s hard to believe Gary Sheffield leads the team in homers. Jeff Francoeur might add something, but the hitter they really need is Wright to step up.

5. The farm system is barren as we’ve frequently heard before. There are few major-league ready players to come up to help the Mets, which also means there are limited trade options. The Mets will not make a blockbuster kind of deal at the trade deadline.

Here’s the line-up that will take a crack at Derek Lowe:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Alex Cora, SS
Brian Schneider, C
Oliver Perez, LP

Perez (2-2, 8.78 ERA) will make his second start for the Mets since coming off the disabled list. Perez earned the victory against the Dodgers, but threw only five innings and gave up seven walks. Perez had no record against the Braves last year, but had a 3.72 ERA in 19 1/3 innings against them.

Jul 12

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #87; first half ends.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

The Mets close their three-game series today against the Reds, and mercifully, the first half of what has been a disappointing season.

There have been several storylines to the season, most notably the run of injuries that claimed Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, John Maine and JJ Putz for long stretches. Also hurt have been Alex Cora, Gary Sheffield, Oliver Perez and Brian Schneider.

Frankly, the Mets are lucky to be as close as they are, and that’s because the Phillies haven’t caught fire.

Still, even with the injuries, the Mets have not played well overall. Their starting pitching has been erratic, often leaving early and causing the bullpen to be overused. And, the hitting with runners in scoring position has been poor and there’s little power.

Maybe Beltran and Reyes are back by the end of the month, but the longer they and Maine are out, the more pressure there is on GM Omar Minaya to make a trade, but there are little chips to deal.

This is a team that is slowly seeing its season fade away.

Here’s the line-up behind Mike Pelfrey today:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Gary Sheffield, LF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Brian Schneider, C
Alex Cora, SS
Mike Pelfrey, RP